Summary. A deeper understanding of the possible role of consciousness in maintaining reality was developed by combining ideas from the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, a proposed transcendental physics model, a model of the Mayan calendar, and a cosmology possibly inspired by communication with extraterrestrials. Inherent in all these models is a universal consciousness that is proposed as the universal observer in an adaptation of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. The universal observer forms superpositions with waveforms of matter and, according to the possibly extraterrestrial-inspired cosmology, has an unconstrained free will to choose that the universe evolve according to the laws of nature.
Some empirical evidence supports the idea that the universal observer may inhibit increases in entropy by generating periodic "creative impulses". Further, the intensity of these impulses appears to be decreasing as the end of the Mayan calendar approaches. Overall entropy should increase as a result, and may manifest as more chaotic activity in the physical environment. However, we humans as conscious observers also influence the laws of nature to some extent. If constraints imposed by the universal observer on human consciousness continue to decrease, we may be able to assume its role given proper preparation. The proposed conceptual framework suggests that individual groups of humans able to establish coherent waveform superpositions may ultimately form independent consensus realities.
A decline in the intensity of the creative impulse as the end of the Mayan calendar approaches would offer a possible explanation for the multiple reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Perhaps many of these objects are controlled by extraterrestrial observers who are aware of the coming end of the calendar and the associated increase in entropy of the earth environment. They might have their own reasons for monitoring the earth and its resources prior to any severe disruptions that might occur.
Modern physics has little to say about how our reality came into being other than that it exploded spontaneously out of an undefined nothingness. Since only matter and energy are acknowledged to exist, the origin of our three- dimensional space must simply be accepted as a given. To do otherwise, we would need to allow the possibility that there is some immaterial domain that gives substance to the physical universe. Close (2000) argues that consciousness is such a domain, and that we experience the world because of a closed loop of interactions between quantum phenomena and consciousness. He proposed that consciousness be defined as having two functions. The primary function is the drawing of distinctions, and the secondary function is to organize these distinctions into forms to reduce entropy. Further, consciousness must be non-quantized in order to avoid the need for an infinite number of receptors of energy in the quantized world of matter. Although this proposal raises new questions regarding the origin of the proposed consciousness, it offers additional degrees of freedom for thinking about our experience of the physical universe.
Although modern physics does not have much to say about the origin of the universe, it is very good at explaining the interrelationships among the various parts. In particular, quantum mechanics represents particles like atoms with a wave function defined by the Schrodinger wave equation. It very successfully predicts the behaviour of microscopic systems at the level of molecules or atoms. Although the computations of quantum mechanics have great predictive power, using the theory to explain reality requires additional interpretation. The best-known attempt is the Copenhagen interpretation, which interprets the wave function as a set of probabilities concerning a particle's position. Before a measurement is actually made in an experiment, the probability that the particle will be in any position is always less than one. However, when the particle's position is fixed by a measurement, the probability of it being at a particular position is unity and everywhere else it is zero. This sudden change in probability, called the "collapse" of the wave function, seems to require an observer to make the measurement. One objection to the interpretation is that the properties of the observer are somehow special. This creates an undesirable discontinuity between the macro and the micro worlds. Another objection is that the wave function is not a real property of the particle, but merely represents our state of knowledge about the particle.
These problems are circumvented by the many-worlds interpretation that has become a viable alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation. The wave function is seen as an actual particle rather than just information about the particle. The observer has no special status and is a wave function able to form a superposition with any observed wave function. Further, instead of the collapse of a wave function during a measurement when one state is selected out of all possible states, all possible outcomes are said to occur. The outcomes are independent and give rise to different universes that cannot normally communicate. The continuously growing system of all possible universes is called the multiverse. The many-worlds interpretation, combined with the concept of a universal observer, offers an interesting framework for understanding the role of consciousness in the evolution of the universe.
The following discussion develops the premise that the universe evolves the way it does because of the role played by something like a consciousness field. Consideration is given to a model of processes underlying the Mayan calendar presented by Carl Johan Calleman (2001, 2004). The model takes the view that pulses of creative energy have influenced biological and social evolution on earth over millions of years.
A basis for how consciousness may relate to the physical world is found in The New Science monograph written by Wilbert B. Smith (1964). Smith believed that some of his scientific inspirations came from communications with extraterrestrial visitors although he does not directly attribute to them the described cosmology. He identifies 12 hierarchical principles that outline the resources and processes available to consciousness for creating physical reality. His insights are included since they add perspective to both the Mayan calendar model and Close's transcendental physics model.
Since consciousness may somehow be connected to the integrity of the physical world, it may be important to note that several major spiritual traditions expect a transformation of human consciousness to take place sometime in the future. Wilbert Smith's cosmology includes the element of free will, which can explain why a transformation in human consciousness might be accompanied by disturbances of the physical environment. There is already evidence to suggest that energetic aspects of the solar system environment as a whole are changing (Hoagland and Wilcock, 2004).
Any role of a consciousness field in maintaining reality would extend everywhere in the universe. Thus, modulations of a consciousness field described in the Mayan calendar model, for example, would also affect possible life on other planets. The significance of the calendar may not be lost on members of some extraterrestrial civilizations, who might then have their own reasons for wanting to be in the vicinity of earth as the calendar approaches the end date. Possible reasons are suggested for the relatively recent explosion in reports of unidentified flying objects.
The many-worlds interpretation (e.g., here, here) assumes that the output of the Schrodinger wave equation or its equivalent describes physical properties of an object such as an electron, and is not just knowledge about the object. That is, the wave function actually is the object in question. Further, the observer is a wave function that interacts with the object wave function. The result is a linear superposition of the two wave functions after a measurement. At this point, the original wave functions can no longer be separated, but are correlated with each other. Each of the correlated subsystems evolves independently of the other in the merged wave function. A measurement is considered complete when the subsystems are no longer correlated. If the measurement could have more than one possible outcome, a separate copy of the system is created for each outcome on different branches of the overall wave function. The wave function on each branch is real, independent, and normally not able to communicate with those on other branches. The result may be seen as an ever-growing tree of independent worlds as subsystems in a universal wave function. The collection of independent branching universes is sometimes called the multiverse.
To simplify the description of the many-worlds interpretation even more, superposition of the quantum wave functions of two interacting systems in the environment yields a single, more complex wave function. If this system can evolve in two ways at the quantum level, one outcome occurs in one world and the other outcome in a different, independent world. The multiverse is created by many such interactions.
The evidence in favour of the existence of a universal consciousness field was not obtained in a controlled experiment, which would require the capability of switching the field on and off at will. This cannot be done in principle, since the field is assumed to maintain the integrity of our reality. Instead, a model of the field proposed by Carl Johan Calleman (2004) was used to predict observable effects on the environment. Since it makes testable predictions, it is a legitimate model for scientific exploration.
The interpretation of the Mayan calendar by Calleman (2001, 2004) appears to be consistent with observed cultural and biological evolution. In his view, the calendar consists of nine embedded cycles, or Underworlds, all ending on October 28, 2011. A cycle is subdivided into 13 equal intervals, each ruled by a particular deity representing certain principles. Calleman sees opposing characteristics in the deities from successive pairs of intervals in a cycle. Accordingly, an Underworld is described as a sequence of six Day/Night pairs plus a final Day. Each cycle after the first is embedded in the last Day of the previous cycle. Thus, the length of each Day or Night shortens exponentially from one Underworld to the next.
Table 1 shows Calleman's names for the nine Underworlds, the Underworld durations, the starting dates, and some phenomena that coincided with the Underworld beginnings. We are currently in the Galactic Underworld that began in 1999 and has a Day length of 360 solar days. In comparison, the previous cycle called the Planetary Underworld began in 1755 and has a Day length of 19.7 years. The Universal Underworld will begin in 2011 with a Day length of 20 solar days.
|Underworld||Duration||Beginning Date||Initiating Phenomena|
|Universal||260 days||Feb 11, 2011||?|
|Galactic||12.8 yr||Jan 5, 1999||World Wide Web|
|Planetary||256 yr||1755 CE||Industrialism|
|National||5125 yr||3115 BCE||Written language|
|Regional||102,000 yr||99,989 BCE||Spoken language|
|Tribal||2 x 106 yr||~2 x 106 BCE||First humans|
|Familial||41 x 106 yr||~41 x 106 BCE||First primates|
|Mammalian||820 x 106 yr||~820 x 106 BCE||First animals|
|Cellular||16.4 x 109 yr||~16.4 x 109 BCE||Big Bang|
In the model derived from Mayan lore, each Day of a cycle is characterized by a pulse of creative energy from a universal oscillator that has influenced evolution since the beginning of time. The Days are associated with the germination, growth and fruition of major changes in the physical and biological worlds and humanity's consciousness and social history. The Nights are periods when the changes are incorporated more fully into the existing context and conflicts are resolved. The pulses of creative energy are applied during the Days via some kind of holographic resonance involving all elements of reality.
Calleman's interpretation is compelling because he is able to associate major events suggesting new beginnings with the Days of the Underworlds. Further, there are analogous events in the different underworlds that take correspondingly different lengths of time to unfold. For example, most would agree that the rate at which internet technology developed in the Galactic Underworld is much faster than the rate at which writing technology evolved in the Planetary Underworld. There is an analogy between writing technology and electronic communications technology, and this example shows how history tends to repeat itself in successive cycles, albeit at faster rates. Similar analogies are drawn in other fields such as politics, religion and biology.
A form of prophecy is possible given this analogical structure. For example, Calleman (2004) successfully predicted, on the basis of events that took place in the Days and Nights of the earlier Planetary Underworld, that a global economic collapse would occur in the Galactic Underworld around November, 2007. In retrospect, the global economic recession began in December, 2007 as reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research (2008), a non-profit research organization. Such a successful prediction contributes to confidence in the Mayan calendar model.
According to Mayan cosmology, a World Tree placed near the centre of the galaxy is the source of all life. Calleman understands the World Tree as an oscillator emitting creative pulses that influence the evolution of reality including human consciousness. He sees a correspondence at different scales in the Mayan lore, so the World Tree has a place at the centre of the universe, near the centre of the galaxy, on the earth, and even the human brain. Further, there is a holographic resonance among the World Trees at the different scales, so the pulses emanate at all levels of scale. Calleman proposes that the iron core of the earth, which is thought to have a crystalline structure due to the tremendous pressures existing there, amplifies the pulses from the World Tree. Calleman (2004) writes that "the Nine Underworlds correspond to nine sequentially activated layers of iron crystals in the earth's inner core" (p. 60). The level of core activation decreases in depth with each successive Underworld. The "different layers are activated according to the preset pattern of the Mayan calendar" (p. 59). Finally, "concentrated mental activity arises from resonance with the earth's inner core" (p. 62). According to the model, the pulse rate of activations has increased exponentially since the beginning of time, with each new frequency added to the earlier lower frequencies. The addition of each new frequency occurred at exponentially decreasing intervals.
Calleman's model implies that the field variations representing successive Days and Nights are associated with modulations in earth core activations. Further, the pace of these modulations has increased exponentially over time along with a decrease in the depth of the activations. If these activations have physical correlates, they should be detectable as changes in seismic activity nearest the earth's core. The Galactic Underworld period, with its Day length of 360 solar days and nearly minimum activation depth, is an ideal period for examining such variations in seismic activity. The model predicts that the number of deepest earthquakes should alternate over successive Day and Night periods. Analysis of seismic activity using data from the U.S. Geological Survey database, found such a relationship (Treurniet, 2007). Figure 1 shows that, after the first Day, the earthquake counts decreased during the Days of the Galactic Underworld and increased during the Nights. Deepest earthquakes were defined as those with magnitudes greater than 3 occurring at depths below 650 km.
According to the model, the World Tree oscillator delivers a creative impulse during the Day periods of the Underworlds. The observed decrease in deepest earthquake frequency during the Days would be accounted for by a dampening effect on energetic processes near the earth's core. One could argue that, generally speaking, a creative impulse occurring during each Day appears to be associated with a decrease in entropy of the material world, while its cessation each Night is associated with a relative increase in entropy.
The model refers to the periodic influence with exponentially increasing frequency as a "creative impulse", which is also an attribute of consciousness as defined by Close (2000). Strictly speaking, the periodic effect on earthquake frequency does not require invocation of consciousness. It would be sufficient to say that a periodic change in some physical parameter has a corresponding effect on the variances of physical processes. An enforced reduction in the variance of geophysical activity might explain the corresponding reduction in the number of deep earthquakes. Further, a reduction in competing biological and environmental noise could account for the periodic enhanced human creativity noted by Calleman. However, something must be causing the modulation of that physical parameter, and the only candidate at present is the proposed consciousness field.
The cosmology described by Wilbert Smith (1964) consists of a hierarchical set of concepts or principles that gives us the universe we know, and expresses a fundamental relationship between reality and free will that we generally do not acknowledge. As described in Smith's monograph The New Science, the basis for reality is Awareness that has arisen out of Nothing-At-All. This Awareness uses the aforementioned set of principles to create and sustain the physical universe. The principle of free will is an essential element in the creation of physical forms. Thus, both awareness and free will figure prominently in the cosmology.
The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics discussed earlier offers images of dynamic wave functions to impart a vision of an evolving reality. In contrast, Smith's cosmology operates at the semantic level to describe a number of principles that are applied to continuously create reality. Table 2 shows these underpinnings of reality as expressed in The New Science. There are 12 orthogonal principles organized into four "fabrics", each having three parameters. Each parameter is subject to all of the parameters that precede it in the list.
The Space and Field fabrics are obvious principles for describing physical reality as we know it. The Length, Area, and Volume parameters of the Space fabric specify the 3-dimensional nature of our reality. The Gradient parameter of the Field fabric is a scalar that specifies the property of change, and is the basis for our experience of time. Divergence is a vector parameter that is the basis for electric fields, which spread out everywhere from points of reference. Curl is another vector parameter that, with the Divergence parameter, forms the basis for oriented magnetic fields. Because of the Space fabric and the Gradient parameter, objects in 3-D space that rely on divergence or curl can vary in magnitude.
The Control fabric deals with the role of choice in creation. The Randomness parameter is the basis for the unrestricted orientation that objects relying on the Space and Field fabrics can have. The idea of orientation introduces the possibility of asymmetry since not all orientations are equivalent. The parameter of Free Will addresses the need to choose from the non-symmetric alternatives. The Sequence parameter, which includes the prior element of free will, is the basis for order or specific arrangement in reality.
The Percipitation fabric contains the principles that permit the creation of matter. The Form parameter is the basis for the existence of boundaries in reality. The Multiplicity parameter permits the creation of more than one form, and enables the various elements of matter and energy to come into existence. The Aggregation parameter permits the assembly of these elements into purposeful structures, both animate and inanimate.
Recall that each parameter is subject to all the parameters that precede it. For example, theVolume parameter includes the parameters of Length and Area, thus establishing a 3-dimensional reality. Since Volume is placed before the principle of Free Will, its 3-dimensional property cannot be altered by some consciousness choosing to do so. The placement of the Length, Area, Volume, Gradient, Divergence, Curl, and Randomness principles before Free Will means that these basic attributes of the universe cannot be altered by choice.
The remaining principles of Sequence, Form, Multiplicity and Aggregation follow the Free Will parameter in the table and so are all subject to a choice exercised by consciousness. Physical entities including atomic particles and biological organisms depend on these principles for their existence and, therefore, are subject to manipulation by consciousness. The application of these parameters is reminiscent of the functions of consciousness defined by Close (2000) of making distinctions and organizing structures to reduce entropy.
The set of principles in Table 2 is a recipe for creating rather than merely describing reality. Any agency taking an active role in creating a complex reality consisting of "oriented sequences of aggregations of multiple forms", would be able to do so because the Free Will parameter is included in the list.
By upholding the predictions made by Calleman's model, the earthquake data analysis supports the existence of the periodic creative impulse from the World Tree as poetically described in the model. This field seems to be equivalent to the Awareness of Smith's cosmology, which defined the fundamental parameters of creation as per the Space and Field fabrics. These parameters established the spatial dimensionality of the universe, the possibility for electromagnetism to exist, and the possibility for change and the experience of time. Then, by virtue of the Free Will parameter, form and function evolved according to the principles in the Control and Percipitation fabrics.
If we consider each model to be a different perspective on the same actuality, we should be able to apply one model's terminology to the other. We could then say that the availability of theFree Will parameter enables the Awareness to control the World Tree oscillator by altering a parameter that controls the pulse rate. So Smith's cosmology is consistent with this aspect of Calleman's model, and suggests that a conscious entity is behind the creative impulse.
This conscious entity can be incorporated into the many-worlds interpretation as a universal observer that continuously creates superpositions with physical reality. How these superpositions decohere determines the paths through the multiverse. The possible paths appear to be controlled by a consistent set of rules that we call the laws of physics. In terms of Smith's cosmology, the constancy of the laws of physics means that the values of his parameters remain fixed. The result is the visible universe with which we are familiar, as well as other paths in the multiverse that may or may not support life as we know it.
Since we humans are also conscious creatures, what is our role in this continuous creation of the multiverse? Like the proposed universal observer, we also are observers of the material world. However, our physical bodies are a part of that which is observed/created by the universal observer. By observing each individual consciousness and inhibiting direct expression of its free will, the universal observer ensures the physical integrity of the individual as the "real" world unfolds. But merely by observing, we also form superpositions with wave functions in the environment. Since the outcomes of these interactions rarely violate expectations, it appears that only those that do not conflict with the will of the universal observer are allowed. That is, our ability to actively interfere with the "laws" of physics implemented by the universal observer appears to be minimal. It is not completely absent though, since reported paranormal activity and experiments on extrasensory perception and psychokinesis indicate that the ability does exist to a limited extent.
From our experience, it is rare for an individual consciousness to bias significantly the universal observer's control over path selection through the multiverse. However, groups of people with a shared psychological state have been known to have more success than single individuals. For example, the so-called Maharishi Effect (Maharishi University of Management, 1976-1993), a consequence of group transcendental meditation, was said to improve a number of social indicators reflecting quality of life. Perhaps the group superposition with common intent amplifies the Free Will parameter so that a paranormal event can occur.
We can find additional evidence of group effects on measurement systems in the data from the Global Consciousness Project (e.g., Bancel and Nelson, 2009; Nelson et al., 2002). The project found statistical evidence that a shared psychological state triggered by a newsworthy event directly affects the physical environment. Specifically, the cumulative behaviour of globally distributed, electronic random event generators (REGs) was shown to be modified by events meaningful to people. Such events include natural disasters or terrorist attacks that result in significant fatalities, or more positive events such as desirable political outcomes or group meditations. In contrast to the Maharishi Effect experiments, there was no overt intention to modify the behaviour of the random event generators one way or another. Apparently, a psychological state shared by a large number of humans can have a non-specific effect on consensus reality. Perhaps the shared psychological state creates a general tendency to increase or reduce entropy in the environment, thus affecting the variance of the random event generators.
Note that a similar hypothesis was proffered earlier to explain the differences in earthquake counts between the Mayan calendar Days and Nights. If both results are affected by the same mechanism, seismic activity and REG variance should also be related when the data is sampled according to the Mayan calendar intervals. Interestingly, Treurniet (2009) showed that this predicted correlation does exist between the two disparate data sets and is statistically significant.
Several spiritual traditions anticipate that a time is approaching when human consciousness will be radically transformed. There is some agreement that it should happen soon, and some say the event will occur around the time of the end of the Mayan calendar in 2011-2012. Surprisingly, the model of reality discussed above appears to predict that the opportunity for such a transformation is likely to occur.
According to Calleman's model, the creative impulse has waxed and waned periodically and the rate has increased exponentially over time. The impulse in the current Galactic Underworld has a duration of 360 days as confirmed by the oscillating number of earthquakes shown in Figure 1. Notice that the swings in the graph are relatively large up to the third Night, and become less extreme in subsequent Days and Nights. The reduction in oscillation amplitude may be a signal that control of the environment by the universal observer is declining. By the end of the calendar, the consciousness field modulations might cease altogether. In that event, the universal observer's control might diminish to the extent that reality will appear more and more chaotic. Perhaps this will be reflected in larger earthquakes and more violent weather conditions.
The reduction in the universal observer's controlling influence may be a benefit to a human consciousness not accustomed to directly expressing its free will. Release from the inhibition imposed by the universal observer should create the opportunity for human consciousness to exercise control over the environment in order to avoid the impending chaos. This may be a time for humanity to actively select its own path through the multiverse. That path could continue the reality we know, or it might follow entirely different rules as allowed by Smith's Free Will parameter.
Under these novel conditions, the wave functions of multiple human observers might form a superposition and become equivalent to a more effective single observer as demonstrated by the Maharishi Effect. However, a coherent superposition of individual wave functions may be possible only if the individuals involved are able to adopt an appropriate shared psychological state. Some spiritual traditions speak of enlightenment as a state of cosmic unity characterized by love and the rejection of ego. Perhaps such a state in common would enable individual minds to follow the same path through the multiverse and create a shared reality.
Without the constraints on reality imposed by the universal observer, what would be the prospects for those of us who are not prepared to reject ego and join with like minds to create a shared reality? If we are unable to maintain a personal reality in the multiverse, there seems to be no alternative to enduring the unchecked increase in entropy. This scenario offers a possible explanation for the recent increased level of reported UFO activity around the world that is clearly indicated, for example, in data from the National UFO Reporting Center (shown graphically by Treurniet (2007) in Figure 1). Perhaps some of these objects are controlled by extraterrestrial beings with an interest in preserving the earth's unique flora and fauna in the event of a global catastrophe. Or, if some UFO contactees are to be believed, some of these beings might be motivated by love to minimize the suffering of kindred souls if the environment were to become too chaotic.
The foregoing provides a framework for the position that consciousness is fundamental for maintaining physical reality. Calleman's model of the Mayan calendar presents the World Tree as the source of the creative impulse. The consciousness defined by Close (2000) has the function of reducing entropy, which might also be understood as a creative impulse. Similarly, Smith's (1964) principles enable a conscious entity with free will to create the structure of reality. All three positions are consistent with the view of a primordial universal consciousness involved in the creation and organization of form. A plausible process by which physical reality emerges is offered by the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics in which this consciousness plays the role of a universal observer.
Empirical support for the participation of consciousness comes from the analysis of the earthquake data. A prediction based on the properties of the creative impulse in the Mayan calendar model was confirmed. The result supports the hypothesis that a universal creative impulse fluctuates according to a pattern determined by the Mayan World Tree, or Smith's Awareness or Close's primordial consciousness. The effect of this creative impulse might be understood in more conventional terms as periodic inhibition of the tendency for entropy to increase. Until this observation can be explained by another mechanism, we have no alternative but to acknowledge that the primary consciousness separately described by Close (2000), Smith (1964), and Calleman (2001, 2004) likely affects our reality and may be fundamental to its existence.
The above synthesis of ideas opens the door to a new understanding of our shared physical reality that incorporates consciousness as an essential element. The existence of a primordial consciousness and some of its characteristics were supported by analysis of two disparate data sets sampled according to periods of the Mayan calendar. This consciousness was adopted as the universal observer in an adaptation of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Further, according to W. B. Smith's cosmology, the universal observer has an unconstrained free will that enables it to decide how the multiverse evolves.
Individual humans would be part of the evolution controlled by such a universal observer via its laws of nature. But because we are conscious, we can also observe the environment and influence how it evolves in spite of the rules imposed by the universal observer. The empirical evidence suggests the possibility that a creative impulse from the universal observer may be decreasing as the end of the Mayan calendar approaches. If this is true, we may soon have a novel opportunity to manage the structure of reality without its assistance. Further, the evidence suggests that we can jointly share in this task if we also share a suitable mental state. Perhaps such a state may be achieved by unconditional love for one another. An indication that such a transformation of human consciousness is occurring will be a greater incidence of significant paranormal abilities as many individuals jointly learn to express a less inhibited free will.